The sides of tenements and lofts along Houston St. in downtown NYC are perfect for hanging building-size ads. Not only is the street one of only a few major crosstown traffic arteries, but it cuts through the city’s hippest shopping and entertainment districts. Location in part explains this gargantuan sexed-upContinue Reading

To many New Yorkers, an NYPD patrol car is a sign of security, holding the line against crime and keeping the streets safe. To others, the arrival of a police cruiser in their community is a sign of racism, corruption and oppression. Whatever the point of view, the police areContinue Reading

This spray-painted claw by the graf writer “Claw” is a familiar graffiti icon of downtown New York, though it’s not nearly as widespread as some others. Sometimes the claw is blue-white, sometimes red-white or some other color and white. Usually a word is written over the claw. In this photo,Continue Reading

Ever read that book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell? It explains how evolving, collective social preferences build up a nascent trend to that moment–the tipping point–when it reaches critical mass, goes super nova and becomes unavoidably visible, like trucker hats a couple of years ago or Starbucks in theContinue Reading

We found this piece of street art on the side of a tenement building in Little Italy, in New York City. The oddly-shaped poster features a black-and-white rendering of an American television icon, the late French actor Hervé Villechaize. The actor was a short person who endeared himself to millionsContinue Reading

Found this blitzkrieg of ad bills for Apple’s popular portable MP3 music player, the iPod. These ads are everywhere in New York City and especially in the downtown hipster neighborhoods. But here on cobblestoned Broome St., between Chrystie and the Bowery in Chinatown, we came across this massive number ofContinue Reading

Last week, Bloomingdales, the grand, old New York City department store, went downtown–way downtown–to lower Broadway in SoHo, where it opened a second Manhattan store in a cast-iron, loft-style building. The decor of the new retail-fashion palace is a mix of Bloomingdales’s dependable uptown restraint and high-style downtown chic. OneContinue Reading

There seems to always be some kind of major building renovation in progress in Lower Manhattan, where today’s sweat shop is being gutted and turned into tomorrow’s luxury condo. The result is that all sorts of junk from the turned-out or torned-down structures end up on the street like theseContinue Reading

This is the work of the New York-based artist Swoon, whose street art can be found plastered on buildings throughout downtown Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo, Chinatown, TriBeCa and the Lower East Side. Usually Swoon’s images depict people engaged in some street-level activity. Here a man is riding a bicycle. TheContinue Reading

Some street art on Ludlow Street just south of Delancey on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. These paintings are terribly weathered but the worse-for-wear condition only enhances the overall beauty of the portraits, which are of actual Chinese and Puerto Rican immigrants who live(d) in the neighbohood. Below theContinue Reading

This row of French-looking shops is actually one business, a French restaurant and bar called Epicerie Charbon on Orchard Street just south of Stanton. The kitschy faux French street-scape is an acrhitectural and decorative bit of whimsy from the Disneyland playbook. Ivan Corsa Photo

Absolut has always melded art-world savvy with clever and iconic advertising campaigns. This billboard on Lafayette St. at Bleeker St. is a literal play on the expression “out of the closet,” touching on the gay theme with a certain New York irony–the building behind the sign is a large, well-knownContinue Reading